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Stray Voltage Caused By On Farm Wiring:

You should have read the section that explains how stray voltage is generated before you read this section. If you have not read it, do it now!. "What Causes Stray Voltage"

There are many ways that stray voltage can be generated on the farm with no contribution from the electrical utility. Each farm wiring system is an unique combination of equipment and wiring methods. Stray voltage appears anytime that electrical current  flows through the buildings grounded pipes and other metal components. Some of the more common causes are:

The modern farm has a lot of electrical equipment located in several buildings and exposed to a dirty, wet and corrosive environment. The electrical system has many of the same problems as an industrial plant with the additional problem of animals being susceptible to low levels of electrical shock. A farm's electrical system must be designed to compensate for all of environmental problems in addition to the goofy way the utility wires its system. Most farmers under estimate the importance of a well designed electrical system. All farms are different and there is no generic design that applies to all. It should be noted that the code is a minimum requirement and compliance with the code gives no assurance that you will not be subjected to stray voltage.

There are many expensive solutions being promoted as magic bullets to eliminate stray voltage. Some of these schemes have varying degrees of success on specific instances of stray voltage. However, the best and most cost effective solution is to retain a professional engineer that knows how to build a robust electrical system that is capable of preventing stray voltage. Then, make sure that the system is not compromised by introducing equipment that can cause ground currents.

It is important that your farm's electrical wiring be brought into complete compliance with the code and that all Stray Voltage that is generated on the farm be corrected before you allow the utility to inspect or test your facility. To protect your interest, you should retain a qualified electrical engineer to test the farm before the Utility comes. Your engineer should also be present to witness, document and if necessary, challenge the test methods and procedures being used by the Electric Utility during their testing.

Visit the following pages for a more detailed study of stray voltage.

What is Stray Voltage?

How Can Stray Voltage be Caused by The Utility?

How Do I Test for Stray Voltage?

How Do I Protect Myself from Bogus Stray Voltage Testing?


For Help or more information, call John Bass at


Email: help@BassEngineering.com

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Bass Associates Inc.
13533 Larkin Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Phone: 952/544-

Copyright 1998 Bass Associates Inc. Last modified: July 28, 2015